Time to give our porches and patios a little TLC. Here are some simple finds from Amazon and ideas for refreshing those outdoor spaces just in time for the end of summer cookouts and the coziness of fall.
Start with a clean slate. Getting everything out of the area will allow for easier deep cleaning. Seeing the space cleared out may even inspire new ways to arrange and decorate. Properly cleaning and prepping the area will ensure the hard work of painting and decorating will last for several seasons. We recommend: a pressure washer with a circular attachment “surface cleaner” because it can cut cleaning time by 50-75%! Additionally, proper pressure washing can revive dingy wood, hearty plastics, and pvc type furniture too. Just be sure to use the right pressure for the material and paint or seal after.
If it’s dingy, consider painting it. Keep in mind: paints are not all-purpose. Paints are formulated to adhere to particular materials and to be used in specific environments. Check the labels to ensure you purchase a quality paint (with great reviews) created for your exact surfaces and environments.
Paint plastics with confidence. Plastic items like side tables, planters, and even furniture can be salvaged with a little cleaning and a coat of the appropriate spray paint for the surface. Choose a brand that mentions “for outdoor use” and the type of surface(s) you plan to paint. We used Behr indoor/outdoor spray paint for multiple surfaces from our local Home Depot. We chose this brand specifically for the designer colors offered, multiple surface capability, and the advertised “corrosion resistance.” It’s been over a year and our plastic planters and mailbox are still looking fresh!
Note: Always follow instructions and pay attention to the cautions listed on the paint can.
Choosing paint colors: If the space has high traffic and use, grays and darker colors may be a better fit. If you prefer lighter colors, consider off whites, creams, and light gray colors that will hide foot traffic better than bright whites. Remember, colors often dry a little darker than you may anticipate, and very light colors can dry a bit brighter than you think so it’s okay to walk the white swatches down a few steps to achieve a more likable, gentler color when it’s applied on the large scale of the ground or walls.
Stencil your way to a fancier space. Stencils can give the feel of tile, without all of the expense. We searched “how to use outdoor stencils” on YouTube and found a lot of helpful tips for using stencils and templates on concrete patios. Two we enjoyed were “Cutting Edge Stencils” for a professional stencil approach, and “House Mix Blog” for a more diy template (use what you have laying around) approach. Both approaches produced a professional end result.
Use the right tools for the job. Cutting corners seems like easy the way to go until everything falls apart and you end up spending twice the amount of money to fix it. You don’t need to go overboard but get the right paint brush roller, choose high quality paint, buy the stencil adhesive… it will make life easier in the long run and ensure a quality end result.
If you’re overwhelmed start small.
Try working on a space by completing a task or two at a time:
- Step 1 – Clear out the space.
- Step 2 – Sort items into “keep,” “toss,” and “donate” categories. Clean the “keep” items and prep for spray painting, if desired.
- Step 3 – Pressure wash.
- Step 4 – Spray paint the cleaned/prepped furniture and accessories.
- Step 5 – Prep the patio by taping off the edges, sweep, and start painting.
- Step 6 – Finish painting/stenciling.
- Step 7 – Decorate!
By working a step at a time, the space will be dazzling by the end of the week!
Some decoration inspiration:
Don’t feel like painting? No problem!
An outdoor weather proof rug can make the space feel instantly fancier.
Then add some furniture to relax in, or a pop of new pillow covers.
A bit of shade that gives the daytime resort vibes:
And a little *twinkle* to the nights with remote controlled “outdoor light bulb garland.”
Did someone say dining al fresco?
Make shift bar carts and decorative ice chests add color and fun, while shatterproof tumblers and dishes are a pool owner’s dream.
Love a good deal?
Keep an eye out for sales at your local home improvement stores staring this month. We’ve notice August (or when a potential storm is looming) tends to start the clearance of summer and patio merchandise. We’ve found whole patio sets and Adirondack rocking chairs on sale for %50 OFF. What a deal!